This Weekend in the Sun Belt
One game has already been completed and five more are on tap for Saturday. The Cajuns are the only team in the league with the week off.
While three teams appear to be safe for bowl bids, several more are still in the running. Here are the games for this weekend
THURSDAY--GEORGIA STATE 21, SOUTH ALABAMA 13--Georgia State (4-3, 3-1 Sun Belt) bounced back from last week's loss and won its first game at the new Georgia State Stadium. Connor Manning threw for a pair of touchdowns. The Jags (3-5, 2-2) rallied with a late touchdown and onside kick recovery but couldn't get the tying score.
SATURDAY--All games on ESPN3 unless otherwise noted
GEORGIA SOUTHERN (0-6, 0-2) at TROY (5-2, 2-1) (-26) 2:30pm--Georgia Southern fired Tyson Summers after last week's blowout loss at previously winless UMASS and interim coach Chad Lunsford gets his reward (?) by having to go to Troy. Expect the Eagles to play with more passion than perhaps at any time this season. Expect them to be 0-7 at the end of the game.
APPALACHIAN STATE (5-2, 4-0) (-4) at UMASS (1-6), 2:30pm (Eleven Sports)--The Mountaineers haven't been flashy or particularly impressive in their Sun Belt wins, but the reality is, they are 4-0. Taylor Lamb and company keep finding ways to win. Their close margin of victories is probably the reason the line is so small in this game. UMASS is improving, but....
TEXAS STATE (1-6, 0-4) at COASTAL CAROLINA (1-6, 0-3) (-8) 3:00pm--Chants gave App State all they wanted last week, but suffered their sixth straight loss. Texas State hasn't found a way to get its offense untracked. But their run defense has been pretty good. That side of the ball should be interesting against a team that runs it well.
ULM (3-4, 3-2) at IDAHO (2-5, 1-2) (-3) 4:00 pm--Matt Viator's club has lost two straight and have come back to earth after that 3-0 league start. Idaho got embarrassed against Missouri last week. Idaho will be trying to establish their ground game against a ULM defense that struggles against the run. We'll also see if the Vandals' defensive showing last week was an aberration.
ARKANSAS STATE (4-2, 3-0) (-3) at NEW MEXICO STATE (3-4, 1-2) 6:00pm--Red Wolves feelin' good after that beatdown of the Cajuns last week. That makes this a big time trap game. I've been saying all year the Aggies are really close to putting it together. NMSU's losses in the league are to Troy and App State, two of the league favorites. Avoiding turnovers is the key for the Aggies. Their offense is good enough if they don't give away possessions.